Verstappen holds an eight-point lead in the drivers’ championship going into this weekend’s inaugural F1 race around the streets of Jeddah.

The Dutchman has seen his lead cut in the last two weekends with Mercedes enjoying the advantage over Red Bull in Brazil and Qatar. 

Speaking after finishing second at the Losail International Circuit, Verstappen said: “I would, of course, have liked to make it a bigger gap, but when you don't have the pace, it’s impossible to do that, so we’ll just try to be better, and come back strong, especially in Saudi on the street track, and then yeah, we’ll see in Abu Dhabi.”

With Verstappen in a strong position to take his maiden F1 crown, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes he’s “driving better than ever”.

“Make no mistake, fighting for your first F1 title is an intense moment in your racing career, but the maturity Max has shown throughout the campaign has been extremely impressive,” Horner wrote in his Red Bull Racing column.

“He’s relaxed and dealing with the pressure incredibly well, I think he is driving better than ever.

“A good example of this was during the race in Qatar, when he did not feel we could catch Lewis, but commented over the radio he “wanted to have some fun”.

“Max is plain-speaking and he calls it how he sees it. He doesn’t work with a sports psychologist; it is just how he copes with it.”